Bill Text: NJ A3617 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Revises penalties for certain violations of law by public movers and warehousemen.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 2-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-24 - Combined with A4884 (ACS) [A3617 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A3617-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 3617

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 12, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN DIMAIO

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Revises penalties for certain violations of law by public movers and warehousemen.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning public movers and warehousemen, and amending P.L.1981, c.311.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 6 of P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-6) is amended to read as follows:

     6.    The director shall, in addition to such other powers and duties as the director may possess by law:

     a.     Administer and enforce the provisions of [this act] P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.);

     b.    Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to effectuate the purposes of [this act] P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.);

     c.     Examine and pass on the qualifications of all applicants for license under [this act] P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.), and issue a license to each qualified applicant;

     d.    Establish professional standards for persons licensed under [this act] P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.);

     e.     Conduct hearings pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.); except that the director shall have the right to administer oaths to witnesses, and shall have the power to issue subpoenas for the compulsory attendance of witnesses and the production of pertinent books, papers, or records;

     f.     Conduct proceedings before any board, agency or court of competent jurisdiction for the enforcement of the provisions of [this act] P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.);

     g.    Annually publish a list of the names, addresses and tariffs of all persons who are licensed under [this act] P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.);

     h.    Establish reasonable requirements with respect to proper and adequate movers' and warehousemen's services and the furnishing of estimates, and prescribe a uniform system of accounts, records and reports;

     i.     Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to protect the interests of the consumer, including, but not limited to, regulations concerning the contents of information brochures which a mover or warehouseman shall give to a customer prior to the signing of a contract for moving or storage services; and

     j.     Promulgate rules and regulations authorizing a regular police officer to issue a summons and impound a motor vehicle for a violation of P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.).  A summons and impoundment shall be issued in accordance with subsections b., c., and d. of section 16 of P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-16).

(cf: P.L.2010, c.87, s.27)

 

     2.    Section 16 of P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-16) is amended to read as follows:

     16.    a.     Any person willfully violating any provision of P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.) shall, in addition to any other sanctions provided herein, be liable to a civil penalty of not more than [$2,500.00] $5,000 for the first offense and not more than [$5,000.00] $20,000 for the second and each subsequent offense, a portion of which shall be dedicated to cover the administrative costs of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, as determined by the director.  Any person engaging in the unlicensed practice of activities regulated by P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.) who violates a provision of P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.) shall be ordered, after a first offense, to delete or block access to any Internet website maintained by the person that advertises the person's unlicensed practice of activities regulated by P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.).  The person shall be liable for an additional penalty of up to $1,000 each day that the website remains viewable to the public.  For the purpose of this section, each transaction or violation shall constitute a separate offense; except a second or subsequent offense shall not be deemed to exist unless an administrative or court order has been entered in a prior, separate and independent proceeding.  In lieu of an administrative proceeding or an action in the Superior Court, the Attorney General may bring an action in the name of the director for the collection or enforcement of civil penalties for the violation of any provision of that act.  The action may be brought in a summary manner pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.), and the rules of court governing actions for the collection of civil penalties in the municipal or Special Civil Part of the Law Division of the Superior Court where the offense occurred.  Process in the action may be by summons or warrant and if the defendant in the action fails to answer the action, the court shall, upon finding an unlawful act or practice to have been committed by the defendant, issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest in order to bring the person before the court to satisfy the civil penalties imposed.  In an action commenced pursuant to this section, the court may order restored to any person in interest any moneys or property acquired by means of an unlawful act or practice.  Any action alleging the unlicensed practice of the activities regulated by P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.) shall be brought pursuant to this section or, where injunctive relief is sought, by an action commenced in the Superior Court.  In an action brought pursuant to that act, the director or the court may order the payment of costs for the use of the State.

     b.    Any person willfully violating any provision of P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.) shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense and shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of up to $5,000, or by imprisonment for up to six months, or by both fine and imprisonment.

     c.     Any person engaging in the business of public moving without a license issued pursuant to P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.) may be subject to a suspension, for a period of no more than three months, of a driver's license issued pursuant to R.S.39:3-10 or commercial driver license issued pursuant to P.L.1990, c.103 (C.39:3-10.9 et seq.), and the impoundment of the motor vehicle used to engage in the unlicensed practice of public moving.

     d.    In addition to any penalty provided for in this section or the penalty established pursuant to subsection d. of section 6 of P.L.1998, c.60 (C.45:14D-29), a public mover, warehouseman, or any other person who engages in the business of public moving or storage and who knows, or reasonably should have known, that payment for the lawfully agreed charges for the mover's services, storage services, or other person's services has been tendered by a consumer, shall release the consumer's property to the consumer.  If the mover, warehouseman, or other person fails to release the consumer's property to the consumer, then the mover, warehouseman, or other person shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of up to $10,000, or by imprisonment for up to 18 months, or by both fine and imprisonment.  If the mover, warehouseman, or other person fails to release the consumer's property to the consumer, any regular police officer may take custody of the consumer's property and release the property to the consumer.

(cf: P.L.2010, c.87, s.34)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill revises the penalties for violations of the "Public Movers and Warehousemen Licensing Act," P.L.1981, c.311 (C.45:14D-1 et seq.), and authorizes the enforcement of certain provisions of that act by regular police officers.

     The bill provides that the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, in the Department of Law and Public Safety, will promulgate rules and regulations authorizing a regular police officer to issue a summons to, and impound the motor vehicle of, any person engaging in the business of public moving and storage in violation of the "Public Movers and Warehousemen Licensing Act."

     The bill also increases the civil penalties levied for any willful violation of the "Public Movers and Warehousemen Licensing Act," from not more than $2,500 for a first offense and not more than $5,000 for a second or subsequent offense, to not more than $5,000 for a first offense and not more than $20,000 for a second or subsequent offense.  Any person engaging in the unlicensed practice of activities regulated under the act who violates a provision of the act will be ordered, after a first offense, to delete or block access to an Internet website maintained by the person that advertises the person's unlicensed practice.  The person will be liable for an additional penalty of up to $1,000 each day that the website remains viewable to the public.  Under the bill, a portion of the civil penalties collected are dedicated to cover the administrative costs of the Division of Consumer Affairs, in an amount determined by the director.

     The bill stipulates that any person willfully violating any provision of the "Public Movers and Warehousemen Licensing Act" is guilty of a disorderly persons offense, and upon conviction may be punished by a fine of up to $5,000, or by imprisonment of up to six months, or both.  The bill also provides that any person engaging in the business of public moving without a license may be subject to a suspension, for a period of no more than three months, of the person's driver's license or commercial driver license, and the impoundment of the motor vehicle used to engage in the unlicensed practice of public moving.

     Finally, the bill provides that a public mover, warehouseman, or any other person who engages in the business of public moving or storage and who knows, or reasonably should have known, that payment for the lawfully agreed charges for the mover's services, storage services, or other person's services has been tendered by a consumer, must release the consumer's property to the consumer.  If the mover, warehouseman, or other person fails to release the consumer's property, then the mover, warehouseman, or other person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and, upon conviction, will be punished by a fine of up to $10,000, or by imprisonment for up to 18 months, or both.  If the mover, warehouseman, or other person fails to release the consumer's property, any regular police officer may take custody of the property and release the property to the consumer.

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